Misc Software Tools



Documentation tools

  • Acrobat Reader doesn't seem like it needs a mention, it's too obvious. What's not obvious to me right now is how to get it. They want you to use some download manager app addon to web browsers, which for me hasn't yet worked once, in either Firefox nor MSIE, even after a fresh Windows install and fresh browser installs and not yet any noscript type addons to them. Here's how I've managed to get Reader, and I wish this thread wasn't so hard to find. That's why I link to it here, it took 20 minutes of Googling to find it again today after having to search much longer a few months ago and sortof remember what to look for.

Remote working tools

  • NX Client lets you work remotely, such as having a Windows box in front of you driving Linux software at work over VPN.

Job Queueing tools

These tools allow you to spin jobs off onto available machines in a cluster for load balancing, license restrictions, etc.

Dynamic Environment

  • Modules allows you to add and remove environment characteristics per shell per application. Lets you change versions of a program, paths to different versions of things (ie. gcc for arm, powerpc, G5, G4, gcc3.x, gcc4.x, etc), environment variables, etc. I don't know a better explanation than that. We use it at work and I think it's great. Need to test a new feature in a program, but don't want to fully switch over to it until it's proven, this makes it easy to go back and forth in versions, without having to keep editing .bashrc and opening new shells all over the place. Download page here. Ubuntu setup howto here.

MindMap tools

I'm still learning about Mindmaps and tools for them. But here are some MindMap tools that sound interesting

Keyboard Remapping (ctrl <--> caps lock)

I use ctrl key A LOT at work, it's an important and very frequently used button for modifying mouse button meanings in VLSI layout tool virtuoso from Cadence. The Sun keyboards at work have ctrl where Windows PCs put the Caps Lock key. Coming from an Amiga history, Amiga also has ctrl where Windows PCs put Caps Lock. I find myself very often hitting Caps Lock on my PC laptop wen I meant to hit ctrl. I never even use Caps Lock for its intended purpose, I'd love to have it outright removed. But it's there, and annoys the heck out of me. I understand that big Emacs users also have this problem, though I'm not one of them, I can feel their pain when working remotely from home, and when doing other stuff at home and this habit causes issues. So here's some remapping articles/tools I found to help. I'd prefer not to make the swap permanent, for others who use this laptop, so I myself will avoid the registry hacks and hope for some utility that can swap the keys back and forth at will.
  • One discussion mentions KeyTweak utility. I may try this.
  • This article discusses registry hacking for Windows 2000/XP. No idea if it works in Vista or Seven.
  • This discussion mentions RemapKey utility from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. Someone mentioned just making Caps Lock a third ctrl key, and not move Caps Lock to the ctrl button, which I may end up doing. Another interesting idea here was to make the current Caps Lock button more generic, with some taskbar widget to quick & easy redefine it at will to Caps Lock, ctrl, escape (for Vim folks), etc. I like that idea a lot.
  • And this article discusses a few things for Windows 2000 "and later", such as the registry hack, Ctrl2Cap utility, and Key Remapper utility. (I also found Key Remapper named utility here, which ay be more up to date, at least he eb page look smore modern/maintained than the previously linked one) He also mentions a Win95/98 utility, and things for Mac OSX and Linux old XFree86.
  • Perhaps the best so far, SevenForums has a discussion about this and they link to a number of utilties. MS Keyboard Layout Creator supports 2000 to Vista by name. SharpKeys says XP, Vista and Seven, but sounds like it's just a GUI that then hacks your registry for you rather than twiddle values by hand. And Key Manager sounds promising.
  • I lost where I found this one mentioned, but Remap Key seems to be renamed to Key Extender which is also available from Cnet Downloads.

File Tools

  • Directory Opus is my choice for replacing Windows Explorer. I don't like Windows Explorer. Yuck. Under Linux I like Worker and Gentoo, both reimplementations of Dopus 4.x style dual pane file managment.
  • Vsubst allows you to assign a drive letter to a folder in Windows. I'm trying to use this to assign familiar drive letters to the available host drives in XPmode under WinSeven. VirtualPC gives these drives a weird "other" type of thing under My Computer, I'm trying to map these to the same drive letters for XP as the drive letters Seven sees. Except for C:, the host/Seven C: drive will become S: for Seven. Though Vsubst does not seem to like giving me a drive letter for my virtual CDROM drive in Seven, maybe VirtualPC doesn't translate it right or something, not sure. I can live without that as VirtualPC provides its own iso mounting capability for the times I might do that kind of thing. Though I can get Vsubst to assign a drive letter in my host Seven OS, I haven't got it to work the way I want in XP under VirtualPC. :( I can assign a drive letter to a folder in XP's C: drive, but I cannot assign a drive letter to one of those "other" thingamies. Well, it looks like it assigns, but nothing shows up in Windows Explorer. (eww, I haven't put Dopus in XP yet!) This discussion offers an alternative by showing how to treat it as a mapped network drive letter, but it's slower than going through the "other" thingy icons.
  • Virtual Clone Drive is a pretty good iso CD image mounter for Windows. I used to use Tools Daemon, but for some reason that didn't seem to like when I started using Vista, and I switched to this one.


Project Managment tools

Server-side tools:
  • Allura is the Forge platform that is Sourceforge.net today. It looks liek Allura is becoming an Apache Project.
  • Savane is the original SourceForge;net platform, and is still in use at gnu Savanna today.
  • FusionForge is a fork of the original open-source Gforge fork of Savane
  • Redmine is another Forge platform
  • ChiliProject is a fork of Redmine